Baking with Julia – Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

This bread was supposed to have walnuts and raisins and fresh cranberries in it instead of craisins and mini chocolate chips but I’m nothing if not a rule-bender. Not necessarily a breaker, but a bender. I believe I’ve made my feelings on nuts clear in the past so we all knew that wasn’t happening. Does it really surprise you that I added chocolate? Probably not. Just like all the other bakers, I really thought this was going to be a quick-bread. After making it, I would say this is the exact opposite of a quick bread. I had read through the recipe once or twice (I even voted for it for god’s sake!) but I still started making this at after 11 PM on Saturday night which was really not smart since it had to rise at room temp for two hours before it’s overnight rest in the fridge. Whoops! I ended up watching late night TV and caught a re-airing of the very first episode of Castle which was pretty good actually. I love me some Nathan Fillion.

This is a pic of him from Firefly because Mal is just….better than Castle. He just is. But Castle was pretty good. I think I found a new Netflix show! :) But back to this bread:

It certainly didn’t look all that great to begin with, but then (just like Dorie said it would) it became very brioche-y during the kneading process in the mixer. I know it seems like I baby her a lot, but I was a little worried about the 10 minute knead and it’s wear and tear on Candy but the motor didn’t even get hot during it. Yay! I’m still making the bagels at the store though in the big mixer – no sense pushing my luck. At least if I break the one at the store I can probably get Kitchenaid to send us a free replacement. I’m not that confident that would work for just little ol’ me. So now we’re into Sunday and I let the bread dough rest on the counter in a nice sunny spot for most of the day. My in-laws came to visit so I probably let it rise a little longer than necessary just because I couldn’t get to it on time. I decided to use the trusty gold bread pans again since I’ve never quite gotten around to buying mini loaf pans. I didn’t do the forming the way the book said either. I just made them into loafy shapes and plopped them in the buttered pans. After rising in the pans for about two hours I put them in the oven while Tristan watched the Packer game and I watched Great Balls of Fire on my iPad.

I have never watched that movie all the way through before and honestly Jerry Lee Lewis??? Really? ugh. But I will say that when I was little I wore out my tape of the song Great Balls of Fire. Obviously I wasn’t aware of the sexual nature of the song. He can really play the piano, there’s no denying that. Annnnnnnnnyways…

As you can see, they hadn’t risen to the tops of the pans but I didn’t think they would because I used the larger pans. Maybe if I had done the shaping how the book described, they would have? Despite not being big and poofy loaves, they smelled amazing while baking and I thought they looked pretty good when I took them out. I still baked them for 35 minutes and when I used my instant read thermometer they were perfectly done in the middle (god I love that thing! So useful!).

That night I cut off a few slices and tried it plain and I thought it was pretty tasty. The flavors weren’t super-intense or anything but I wouldn’t call it bland. The next morning I ate some toasted and I think that is where this bread really shines. It tastes really good all crunchy with some delicious butter slathered on. In fact, I just finished some for breakfast today and it still tastes great even when it’s day-old. I don’t know that I’d make this again just because of the time investment and everything but I thought it was a nice fall-time project to try and I’m glad I did it.

That little mini pumpkin is going to be putting in some serious facetime in the next few weeks. Such a cute little prop, right? Want to stuff your face with some little pumpkin loaves of your very own? Visit our host for this week – Rebecca over at This Bountiful Backyard to get the recipe!

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16 thoughts on “Baking with Julia – Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

  1. Castle is a great show. Your bread looks good, too. I agree that it is really good toasted and slathered with butter.

  2. I keep meaning to check out Castle and never seem to get around to it. Have you seen Fillion in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog? He’s hilarious! Your loaves look delicious. Pumpkin and chocolate is always a win in my book!

    • I have a lifelong obsession with Joss Whedon so yes I’ve seen everything he’s made and Dr. Horrible was amazing. NPH has made such a comeback these last few years don’t you think? Did you watch Cabin in the Woods? Even if you don’t like scary movies it is a total must. I highly recommend it!

  3. I bounced to your blog from the TWD site (a new discovery for me, I must admit), and after reading just one of your blogs, have decided I’m in love. In a totally platonic, blog-reader type of way. I think it was the Nathan Fillion that cinched the deal. And the writing. The writing’s pretty awesome!

    Also, your bread is beautiful and now I’m hungry. But I also want to watch “Firefly.” And it’s practically bedtime. I’m so torn.

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